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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going back and forth on if I should feed grain free or try a food with just 1 grain.

For those of you who do feed grain free what level or protein does your food have and did your dog do the switch well?

What food do you feed.
 

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Rookie is on Innova Evo which is grain free. He was previously on Canidae and before that on Eukanuba. He was a little bit less enthusiastic about Innova Evo at first, but it didn't take him long before he was gobbling it up as quickly as he did the other foods.

The Evo is pretty high in protein, 42%. Rookie has done really well on it. He has tons of energy, great coat, etc.
 

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I feel better about the more moderate protein levels in Acana or Core ( low to mid 30's). Orijen and Evo are considerably higher protein levels, and I just don't think my dogs need that. BTW, I am one who rotates among foods, so I don't do grain free 100&. Right now, they're on the Innova large breed with a 25% protein level. I also use the Fromm 4-star line.
 

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We just started feeling California Natural a week ago, but it does have oatmel in it, so it's not 100% grain-free, but very close. There are no corn fillers or wheat in it at all. We started feeding it to see if it clears up Tucker's chronic ear infection issues in one of his ears and I really think it's working. His ear has started to clear up quite a bit over the past several days. There is not nearly as much brown gunk as there used to be. We use the Herring & Sweet Potato formula and it has 21% protein and Tucker has been handling the gradual switch very well. We're at the point where we're mixing in only a very small amount of his old food and I plan to have him totally switched over by the end of this week since he has bene doing so well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
we are having ear issues.
so I don't want to mess around more than I have to.

I am going to the pet food store tonight after way too much reading online that is confussing me even more, lol
I am hoping the person there can really help me out.
Over the phone she suggested NOW turkey and duck, which is grain free but only 26% protein.
Or I was thinking of the Acana lamb and apple with only 1 grain, it is 27% protein. But that kind os worries me. How can a food be grain free and only 27%???

He is on wellness super5mix now, which has rice, oats and barley. Maybe it is the barley that is causing the problems?
The California Natural sounds like a good food with just the oats.
 

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He is on wellness super5mix now, which has rice, oats and barley.
One of my dogs has allergies to all three of those ingredients.
 

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Before I switched Rookie to Innova Evo, I did quite a bit of reading on the whole protein issue. After doing some research, I'm pretty comfortable with the higher protein level in his food. Here's an article you might want to take a look at:

http://www.thepetcenter.com/article.aspx?id=3408
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did try cody on the Acana prarie harvest and he didn't do well on it at all(stool) wise and he even got to a point where he refused to eat. He would only eat hamberger and rice mix that I made him for 5 days. Then we put him back on wellness and he was ok.
I was also thinking chicken might be the issue since the Acana was chicken based.
They have a lamb based one with 33% protein.
I think I am fooling myself to think he is ok with any grain. I think that might be his problem. He has always had so much ear gunk, it is just so nasty and I feel so badly for him.
I appreciate the passion for high protein diets, it makes complete sence to me. But it also scares me since it is still so new.

ETA: I put my cats on the Acana prarie feast and they are doing SO well! they were on cat chow for years and years.
But I noticed my older cat(11) is licking his hair off his belly, but he has always had food issues his entire life, so I wouldn't be suprised if he can't handle the Acana
 

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I think we are talking about two related issues here: grain or grain-free and high carb or low carb formulas.

Some people feed grain-free because they believe their dog has an intolerance or allergy to most grains. The formula they chose may be grain-free and high carb like Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish (21% protein, 10% fat and about 50% carbohydrates) or grain-free and low carb like EVO (42% protein, 22% fat and 12% carbs).

Other people feed grain-free kibble because they believe low carb diets are healthier for dogs and the grain-free kibbles with moderate to high proteins like EVO, Orijen, Wellness Core, Acana Prairie Harvest, Horizon Legacy, etc. are the one way to get a low carb formula. Theoretically, a kibble could be higher protein and low carb and still use a grain like millet or oatmeal, but the dog food companies haven't seen that as a marketing route and don't make them.

Grains, in and of themselves, don't make a food high or low in carbs, protein, etc. It's the percentage of meat protein and fats primarily that determine the carb percentage. To figure the carbohydrate percentage somewhat accurately for a kibble:

Start with 100%. Subtract the listed percentages of protein, fat, moisture, and ash (often not listed but usually 5-10%). The remainder is the carbohydrate percentage.

My senior Bentley has eaten a rotation of moderate to high protein grain-free formulas for the last 3 years. They have been the healthiest years of his life in terms of energy level, coat and skin condition, and reduction of yeasty ears. When I first transitioned him to low carb and grain-free, it took a little while to adjust because he was so used to the other kind of kibble. My 2 year old lab has only ever been fed low-carb grain free. I've used Orijen, EVO, Acana Prairie Harvest and just started Horizon Legacy. Wellness Core seemed to cause itchiness in my lab so I discontinued it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much for that break down.

I am glad to hear your Bentley is doing so well on Horizon Legacy at his age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
after much thinking and many posts!

I think I am going to try the Acana grasslands and hope for the best. eliminate all grains and chicken completley.
I am going to buy a bag tonight and do it very slowly over many weeks since I just bought a bag of wellness not long ago.
 
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